Although Alaska is thought to be under a constant blanket of darkness and snow, the more inhabited areas of the state tend to have slightly milder weather conditions with cold winters and mild summers, and plenty of precipitation in both the forms of rain and snow. This cold weather and heavy precipitation can lead to a variety of foundation problems for the buildings of Alaska.
There are many different conditions in Alaska that can cause foundation failure, including:
Heaving and Settling: As the ground repeatedly freezes and thaws, it will expand and contract, causing the foundation above to heave and settle respectively. This can lead to uneven settlement, foundation shifting, and crack formation.
Erosion: Erosion can occur when there is heavy rain or a large amount of snowmelt with warmer temperatures. The rain washes away soil under your foundation, forming voids and causing the foundation to settle into these voids.
Hydrostatic Pressure: Excess groundwater can cause the hydrostatic pressure in the ground to increase. This pressure pushes against the foundation, causing it to shift and possibly crack.
Poor Soil Compaction: If the soil beneath your home was not properly compacted at the time of construction, the ground will begin to settle, causing the foundation above to settle unevenly as well.
Foundation settlement is a common issue that happens when the foundation of the home sinks as a result of poor support from the soil beneath. Another problem that is quite common is shifting foundations. If your foundation begins to shift, it may cause basement walls to bow or lean inward. If you have a shifting or settling foundation, you may also find foundation cracks, which can lead to water leakage and pest infestation. Other common signs of a foundation problem in your home include:
There are, however, reliable solutions for all of the foundation problems in your home. For settling foundations, install helical piers or steel push piers. These keep the foundation stable and close any cracks that may have resulted from the settlement or shifting.
If you have a basement, shifting foundations may cause the basement walls to bow or lean inward. Plate anchors can be installed to pull the walls back into place; these anchors are installed into the yard adjacent to the affected wall and attached using a metal rod and a plate. The opposite horizontal pressure gradually pulls the wall back into position.
If you find a foundation problem in your home, contact My Foundation Repairs to help you connect with a professional foundation repair contractor in Alaska right away.